Today in Depressing Quotes (State Department Edition)

From a piece in The Atlantic (The State of Trump’s State Department) that is worth a read:

“I don’t think this administration thinks the State Department needs to exist. They think Jared [Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law] can do everything. It’s reminiscent of the developing countries where I’ve served. The family rules everything, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs knows nothing.”

Really, the entire piece is depressing, as it suggests rather strongly that our foreign policy is utterly rudderless at the moment.  It also suggests that actual expert knowledge (an essential for foreign policy formulation) has no place in the Trump administration (this is, I allow, no shock at all).

As the piece notes, I have no problem with rational cuts and never assume that the size of a given organization is automatically correct.  However, what is described in the piece is no rational assessment, but rather ignorant neglect.

FILED UNDER: US Politics, ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Gustopher says:

    I am convinced that President Clooney* will inherit a much more dangerous world than President Trump. On the plus side, he will have the opportunity to remake alliances and dramatically change the world order — which destroyed relationships do we repair? Do we want to keep cuddling France? Do we need to need to change our relationship with China?

    (*Clooney has the presidential look, is likeable, has good politics in general, and probably has enough sense to know at least some of his weaknesses. When America wants someone to look Presidential rather than be qualified, he’s an excellent choice)

  2. JohnMcC says:

    Thank you for bringing attention to that article from TheAtlantic. Absolutely devastating picture of the ‘deconstruction’ of the State Dept.

    Thanks, Republicans!

  3. Pch101 says:

    I have to admit that it will be interesting to see what happens if when an overseas Trump-branded property is attacked by terrorists.

    (I say “when” because the symbolism of such an event seems all too obvious for a terrorist cell to pass up. However, “interesting” may be the wrong word…)

  4. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    N. Korea lobbed four missiles into the Sea of Japan over the weekend.
    And of course Trump tweeted himself into a yuuuge pile of shit based purely on right-wing conspiracy theories…leaving everyone ridiculing him including James Comey of all people…who had teamed up with Putin to help elect Trump in the first place.
    So now I would not be surprised one little bit if he attacks Korea to try and distract from the raging dumpster fire that is his so-called presidency. And of course an attack on N. Korea is going to start a shit-storm in that part of the world…which his administrations lack of foreign policy expertise will only make worse.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The closing of the article

    “This is probably what it felt like to be a British foreign service officer after World War II, when you realize, no, the sun actually does set on your empire,” said the mid-level officer. “America is over. And being part of that, when it’s happening for no reason, is traumatic.”

  6. Slugger says:

    We don’t need much of a State Department. We can simply judge the merits of an alliance by the number of Mar a Lago membership that a foreign nation buys.